In Canada? World reacts with shock to Ottawa terror attack
With headlines about "Canada's 9/11" and the nation's "lost innocence," Wednesday's terror attack on the capital seems to have shattered many people's idea of Canada as a peaceful and benign nation.
But experts say global reaction to the shooting has more to do with Canadian stereotypes than Canadian history, and our international reputation will only grow stronger in the tragedy's wake.
"Perhaps some will be surprised that we're at risk of this sort of violence, but that says more about stereotypes of Canada than the real situation," McGill University political science professor Rex Brynen said.
News of the attack, in which lone gunman Michael Zehaf-Bibeau fatally shot Cpl. Nathan Cirillo at the National War Memorial before being gunned down on Parliament Hill, made headlines and front pages around the globe.
The Guardian called Wednesday's chaos a scene "unlike any Canada has witnessed in modern history."
"What would be a shocking series of events in any nation is even more so in Canada," Bloomberg News reported.
Fox News asked: "Is Ottawa Shooting Canada's 9/11?"
"I don't think Canada has lost its innocence, or even had any," Brynen, an expert in security and conflict, said.
"We've seen politically-inspired terrorism before. ... We've seen mentally unstable individuals commit mass murder before."
Byrnen pointed to the Air India bombing of 1985, the Montreal Massacre of 1989, the Mayerthorpe tragedy of 2005 and the Moncton shootings in June of this year.
Thomas Juneau, an international relations expert at the University of Ottawa, said it's Canada's reaction to this latest tragedy that will leave a lasting impression on the global stage.
"I think that Canada's measured reaction so far, the fact that were not hysterical, we're not apocalyptic, will confirm, if anything, to the world the image of Canadians as level-headed, a mature society," he said.